NCPO determined to stem 'fake news'

NCPO determined to stem 'fake news'

State agencies have been ordered to counter distorted news in the run-up to the March election.
State agencies have been ordered to counter distorted news in the run-up to the March election.

The National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) has ordered state agencies to issue immediate clarifications to counter distorted news in the run-up to the March 24 election.

Deputy NCPO spokeswoman, Col Sirichan Ngathong, said more people are following the news as the election nears and a lot of information is spread through multiple channels, particularly the internet.

"Election-related news has caught many people's attention and has had a direct impact on public sentiment," she said.

Certain pieces of information made available to people were embellished to give certain political camps the upper hand over their rivals, she explained, so state agencies need to monitor stories closely to prevent or curb distortion.

Col Sirichan said that Gen Natthapon Nakpanich, deputy army chief and also deputy NCPO chief, has stressed that the next three months will be crucial for the country as the election will take place and a new government will be formed afterwards.

The NCPO and government agencies are working together to maintain peace and order and related authorities will meet people to disseminate correct and accurate information, she said.

State agencies that come across misinformation about them or their work must issue immediate rebuttals or clarifications through their online platforms or government-run broadcast channels such as the Thai Ku Fah webpage and the Dern Na Prathet Thai (Moving Forward Thailand) programme.

This message was reiterated by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha during the weekly cabinet meeting yesterday, according to Col Athisit Chainuwat, assistant government spokesman.

The premier has instructed ministries to check or verify news distributed through mainstream and social media sources.

An immediate clarification would prevent so-called "fake news" from going viral, which would be harder to contain later, he said.

Col Athisit appealed to people to listen to news from government agencies to ensure they have accurate information.

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